In terms of finding sponsors, there are perhaps three categories of sport organisation:
Organisations in this illustrious category have a highly marketable product. Although they may employ personnel with specialist skills and experience in large dollar sponsorships, in truth sponsors tend to come knocking at the door offering "please can we be your sponsor".
The key factor for a sport organisation to maintain a presence in this category is that it must control a sport, at the national level, that has high entertainment value. If a sport has high entertainment value it will generally command extensive media exposure. Any commercial organisation that sponsors a sport that is regularly televised, will themselves have high media exposure.
A sport organisation in this category still has a highly marketable product but the main difference is that the sport is not televised regularly. Elite athletes involved in this category of sport can attract a good deal of media attention but on a much less frequent basis. For example, a sport in this category will likely have potential medallists in Olympic Games and for short periods of time this can provide sponsors with exciting opportunities. Another factor that may put a sport into this category is if it has a very high participation. This enables the sponsor to reach a large potential audience.
Organisations in the category have to go knocking on the sponsor's door and say "please will you sponsor us" but the chances are good.
If your sport does not have regular media exposure, is not greatly entertaining to the broad mass of the population, does not command a large participation base, and does not have any potential medallist in the Olympic Games then this is the category for you - the "sponsorship basket case". This statement may seem a bit unfair because, from time to time, sports in this category do win substantial sponsorships. However to obtain significant sponsorship success requires the organisation to obtain the involvement of very innovative and/or well connected people who have great charm, energy and boldness. Of course, it is often the case that people who are found to have these qualities are employed by category 1 sport organisations. But occasionally such people do come out of the woodwork.
If your organisation is not the national body, then the amount of sponsorships dollars that you can realistically achieve is far less. Your main event, perhaps a state or regional championship, will likely not be broadcast on national television. The media tend to concentrate on events that have a national interest. On the other hand you may win some news reports on local television but you cannot guarantee a sponsor this.
So, what opportunities actually exist for sponsorship at the state, regional or lower levels of sport?
Well, what can you sell if you are not a glamour sport?
Actually there is quite a lot a category 3 organisation could sell:
The above three strategies are utilised by a great many organisations to win small but very useful sponsorships. Pursuing these strategies requires a small band of energetic, passionate and skillful people. Innovation is also a key to success. There will be other ways to make sponsorship dollars based on enabling a business to be able to directly communicate with its preferred target market.
Are you looking for a Sponsorship Proposal Template that will save you hours of work? Click here for Sponsorship Proposal Template.
For more information on sponsorship and funding use SEARCH at top right corner of this page or MENU at top left.